We would advise anyone who has been injured in an accident to get specialist legal advice as soon as possible. Economics alone suggest that you cannot rely on an insurance company to give you a fair deal, if you choose to handle your claim yourself. (Their primary duty is to their shareholders, not to you). Unfortunately, there are all sorts of other potential conflicts of interest for third party insurers as well. Only an independent, specialist solicitor will be truly on your side and hold your best interests as paramount. If you live in Moray or have suffered a personal injury accident in Moray, we can help with advice on a possible personal injury claim. We’ll help you directly if that's what is in your best interests. We will refer you on elsewhere if we think that’s a better option for you. Our main aim is to make sure everyone with a valid claim gets access to the justice they deserve through the solicitor who is best-placed to help them – in terms of experience, Continue Reading
Avoiding losing money on your personal injury claim
It makes no sense to behave in a way that any claim you have for personal injury is reduced through your own conduct.
The articles listed below deal in some way with things you can do - or should consider - to avoid your compensation damages being reduced below an otherwise "fair" level.
If you live in Moray or have suffered a personal injury accident in Moray, we can help. If you have any questions about any aspect of our personal injury claims services at Moray Claims / Grigor & Young, please get in touch with us. You can send a Free Online Enquiry via this website (basically, it's an online method of sending us an email). You can also phone us. Our accredited specialist personal injury solicitors – Peter and Marie – are on (Elgin) 01343 544077. We’ll help you directly if that appears to be in your best interests. We might refer you on elsewhere if we think that’s a better option for you. Our main aim is to make sure everyone with a valid claim gets access to the justice they deserve through the solicitor who is best-placed to help them – in terms of expertise, experience and location. We don't want you, as an injured person, to end up winning and losing your personal injury claim - we just want you to experience the success part. Continue Reading
If you have been hurt as the result of an accident, it is likely that the third party’s insurance company will contact you directly. You will probably have exchanged personal details with the other party to the accident and that information will be passed on to the other insurers if the accident is reported to them by their customer. Insurers have recognised this as a great opportunity to “get in first”. Where the insurance company for the other party sees that the accident is likely to be the fault of their insured, if they move swiftly, they can get to you before you are in touch with your own insurers. The “prize” as far as they are concerned is the chance to offer money to settle any personal injury claim you might have - before you have had time to get proper legal advice and intimate the claim. Third party capture There are different terms for this procedure, depending on your point of view. Solicitors who represent the interests of injury victims refer to it as Continue Reading
Exaggerating your symptoms from injuries can damage your chances of claiming compensation Serious injuries can lead to permanent restrictions in things like your ability to work, to care for yourself and others close to you, or enjoy your hobbies. If that is what you claim following an accident, you need to realise it’s likely that all aspects of your life will end up under the microscope. Exaggeration of injuries can damage your personal injury claim. How will you be found out? Your life: nothing hidden You will be shadowed and put under video surveillance. Private investigators will stake out your home. You could be filmed in your garden, getting into and out of your car or doing the shopping. A prime time for observation is when you have to go and see any medical expert appointed by the insurers: they know exactly where you will be and at what times on that particular day. Surveillance cameras may be hand held, mounted in vehicles or in holdalls carried by Continue Reading
A Minute of Tender can be an effective weapon in a Scottish personal injury court action A Minute of Tender is a device used in Scottish personal injury court actions which can undermine – and, at worst, destroy - your claim for compensation. For that reason, it is worthwhile understanding how Minutes of Tender work. So, firstly, we need to go back a bit – to before the court action. When will you need a court action? If your personal injury claim cannot be settled by negotiation, you will have to raise a court action. Generally, for that to happen, your solicitor will have to assess that your claim has a better than 50/50 chance of success. In the worst case, the dispute will be about whether you should get any compensation at all. A less serious problem is where it is just the value of the claim which cannot be agreed. In other words, there is agreement that some compensation should be paid but the opposing insurers are not offering a reasonable amount. How Continue Reading
"Spine once more" found on flickrcc.net One of the frustrations for solicitors helping victims of accidents with their compensation claims is where medical records show that the injured person did not take up all the treatment which was available to them while recovering from their injuries. The “pain and suffering” value of your personal injury claim depends, broadly, on the severity of the initial injury and the length of time it takes you to make a full recovery. You rarely win if it's "you versus your medical records" Whilst your own evidence about the duration and extent of your symptoms will carry some weight, it is likely to be trumped by anything inconsistent contained in your medical records. So, for example, it will be difficult to argue two years after an accident that you have continuing shoulder pain related to the accident if your GP referred to you for physiotherapy at the 6-month mark and you failed to attend at all or stopped going for treatment before Continue Reading
Click Clack, Front ‘n’ Back. Though there are other famous public information campaigns dating from the 1970s, seatbelt laws did not come into force in the UK until 1983. Regulations for children to wear seatbelts followed in 1989 and then for seatbelts in the rear seats in 1991. It took a while for many people to wear seatbelts regularly but now it has become the accepted norm for anyone getting into a motor vehicle. Most car manufacturers install alarm systems to alert the occupants when a seatbelt is not engaged and the vehicle is in motion. In spite of the rules, there are still some people who will not willingly wear a seatbelt and there are in fact exemptions for certain people. You will still have a claim but your compensation will be reduced If you are unfortunate enough to have suffered injury in an accident whilst not wearing your seatbelt, you will probably still be able to make a claim for personal injury. The down side is that there may Continue Reading
General issues about contributory negligence in PI cases In many personal injury claims, though it’s clear that the accident was the fault of someone else – which means the claim should succeed - there can be arguments about whether you as the injured person should share some of the blame for the accident. This is what is referred to as contributory negligence. It is often possible to counter arguments for contributory negligence, meaning that your claim succeeds in full. It is up to the other side to prove contributory negligence applies in the circumstances rather than being up to you to prove that you did take proper care for your own safety. If contributory negligence applies, your compensation will be reduced. In our experience, across the personal injury accident spectrum, reduction rates most often tend to be in the 10% to 25% range. In other words, for example, if contributory negligence is 25% then you lose one quarter of your damages. Why the level of Continue Reading
We see this happening much more frequently following accidents involving personal injury. People, who are at their most vulnerable following injury, receive a call from the other party’s insurance company and then a letter offering settlement of their claim at a derisory level. Why? Well, settling the claim quickly is invariably cheaper for an insurer and they know that, without specialist advice, you may not be paid all that you are entitled to receive. If you have suffered a personal injury, it is generally only possible to value the injury part of the claim properly by obtaining medical evidence. The amount your injury is worth depends on things like: the nature and severity of the initial injury; and the length of time it takes you to recover from the injury. Getting medical evidence, including a report from an appropriate medical expert, should ensure that the compensation paid out at the end of the day is fair compensation. And that means “fair” not only to you Continue Reading
Hitting a detonator with a hammer to see what happens. Does that (bang) sound to you like a good idea? There are some situations where an injured person’s own conduct seems quite foolhardy in the circumstances and yet they have still been able to get compensation for their losses. In some situations, though, the claimant’s own conduct can be seen as such an overwhelming cause of their injury that it is taken to be the only cause having any legal effect – and the injured person in that type of case is often said to be ‘the author of their own injury’. A finding of that nature means your claim fails. In a Scottish case reported in 1957 (Donaghy –v- National Coal Board), a young miner sued his employers for damages for injuries which he suffered when he exploded a detonator by striking it with a hammer. He alleged that he had done this in the belief that, if struck sharply, a detonator would do no more than make a harmless noise. This claim did not succeed. The judge in Continue Reading